Christopher Gil
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152

September 17, 2018

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
and Mayor London Breed at “Keeping the Promise” Mission Community Event
Celebrates Mission Promise Neighborhood Five Years of Results, Expansion to Five More Schools

San Francisco — Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader, Mayor London Breed and District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen will speak at a community celebration for a U.S. Department of Education $6 million, two-year federal grant to San Francisco’s Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN). The event will take place on Wednesday, September 19, at 4 p.m. at Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School, with a concurrent resource fair for families, plus games for children led by employee volunteers from Google trained by staff from MPN partner Jamestown Community Center.

“The story of Mission Promise is one of local transformation and national impact,” said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader. “Our community is translating this initiative’s bold promise into transformative progress for thousands of families in the Mission, creating a model for educational investments and community empowerment for the entire nation. Together, thanks to the leadership of City officials, community leaders and parents, we have made incredible progress to boost high school completion rates, close opportunity gaps, increase economic security and strengthen the Mission’s deep sense of community. I look forward to joining so many leaders of our city at Buena Vista Horace Mann Community school to celebrate the beginning of the second stage of this extraordinary initiative.”

During its initial five years, the MPN education initiative’s 20+ invaluable community partners have showcased significant results. For example, John O’Connell High School graduation rates for Latino students increased from 62 percent to 88 percent, while graduation rates for African American students increased from 46 percent to 93 percent. These impressive graduation rates are now outpacing those of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) overall.

“The Mission Promise Neighborhood initiative provides meaningful social, educational and economic resources that have proven to successfully help our students succeed and graduate,” said Mayor London Breed. “It is a testament to what we can accomplish when we work collaboratively to help children not only in the classroom, but also at home and in their communities.”

With a model of family economic success translating to student academic success, Mission families have been strengthened by being connected at school to a combination of free services running the gamut from financial coaching and career training to quality health care and access to high-quality early education centers. Stabilizing housing in a neighborhood experiencing gentrification has also been a concern addressed by the community partners.

“We are grateful to our D.C. leaders who pushed forward the legislation to provide much-needed extension funding for Promise Neighborhoods. MPN’s collective impact would not be possible without the combined support of federal, state and local officials, SFUSD, principals, teachers and over 20+ Mission District partners developing best practices in creating equity so that all of our students have the opportunity to get to college,” explained District 9 Supervisor Hillary Ronen.

Echoed Richard Raya, Director of Mission Promise Neighborhood, “MPN’s vision for moving forward is to continue to close the opportunity gap so that all Mission District students have the chance to get to and thrive at college. This extension grant will continue the progress we have made over the past five-and-a-half years, and turn that vision into a reality.”


About Mission Promise Neighborhood
The Mission Promise Neighborhood is a citywide community partnership that was created to support kids and families living, working and attending school in the Mission District. It brings together schools, colleges, community organizations and community leaders to help kids graduate and families achieve financial stability.

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Cinco de Mayo-Blog

Many people mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexico’s independence– an event that is actually commemorated every September 16th. Here’s a quick history lesson to set the record straight.

After the Mexican-American and the Reform wars of the mid-19th century, Mexico was mostly bankrupt, so the nation put forth a two-year moratorium on payments of all of its foreign debts. A trio of European powers–Spain, England and France–sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand payments. While Spain and England ultimately negotiated with Mexico, France seized the opportunity to attempt to carve another piece of their empire out of Mexican territory.

The result was a May 5th, 1862 battle in the east-central state of Puebla, with heavily armed French forces outnumbering their poorly supplied Mexican opponents. Despite these odds, Mexico decisively won under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a Texas-born Mexican. This created a sense of national pride still commemorated today, especially because the seemingly omnipotent French army had not suffered a defeat in the five decades prior.

Some historians surmise that if the French had won the Battle of Puebla, their stronghold in the region could have led to the European nation interfering in the American Civil War by aiding Confederate forces. This could have meant a very different outcome in that conflict, thereby changing the course of U.S. history.

Over a century and a half later, Cinco de Mayo has become an annual celebration filled with music, dance, song and plenty of regional food. The festival is held throughout the United States and Mexico, the latter primarily in Puebla.

Cinco de Mayo-InsideOn Saturday, San Francisco’s Cinco de Mayo, a true feast for the senses, was held in the Mission on Valencia between 21st and 24th streets. Mission Neighborhood Centers, a valued community partner, hosted its 11th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration, with a good time being had by all. The Mission Promise Neighborhood had a resource table, availing community members of free services for family economic success.

Cinco de Mayo still helps define a community’s strength.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEverett Middle School combined empathy with education last night as underresourced, predominately Latino families from the Mission came together to share their concerns and traumas over San Francisco’s continuing housing crisis.

Held by the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), this was the second such event of 2014. The first “Housing Town Hall” was held at Bryant Elementary School in March, with families sharing their traumas and asking for solutions.

The ongoing challenges faced by low-income families Mission families were corroborated by a federally mandated MPN community survey that was done in spring. This survey showcased the fact that 95 percent of MPN families are renters versus 64 percent citywide, based on a San Francisco Planning Department study from 2012. Also, according to the MPN survey, 85 percent of Mission families are spending over 50% of their income on rent.

Last night’s “Housing Town Hall” built knowledge of housing options for families and engaged them in solutions.

The evening’s agenda commenced with a warm welcome from Everett Middle School Principal Lena VanHaren.

Next were inspiring words from neighborhood activist Oscar Grande of People Organizing to Demand Environmental & Economic Rights (PODER). Grande asked the crowd such questions as “Who is living with relatives?” and “Who has fear of being evicted?,” with hands rising in the audience.

There was then a panel featuring: David Campos, District 9 Supervisor; Ken Tray, United Educators of San Francisco; Kevin Truitt, Associate Superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District; and Scott Wiener, District 8 Supervisor. Each got up to address the crowd.

Tray explained that real estate company Redfin has found that no teacher in San Francisco can afford to live in the city, a startling fact.

Finally, there were a trio of bilingual sessions—facilitated by Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Hamilton Family Center and the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)—on the subjects of housing rights, housing options and prospective direct action.

Fear was palpable. Anxiety was high.

MEDA Director of Community Real Estate Karoleen Feng explains the need for this second event as follows: “ We heard myriad heartbreaking stories around housing at the first town hall. Families expressed stress over trying to stay in their neighborhood of choice. This stress affects their children’s academic performance. This second town hall was held as part of a movement to bring answers to families—around their rights, resources and ways to be involved in solutions for their housing crisis.”

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(415) 569-2699
2301 Mission Street, Suite 304
San Francisco, CA 94110

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